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Sports Explains the World

Wondery | Meadowlark

Sports Explains the World unveils some of the wildest and most surprising sports stories you’ve never heard. And they’re all true. From the unemployed history teacher turned CIA agent and Uganda national basketball coach, to the teenager who invented a mythical athlete…then watched him sign a million-dollar deal, these stories will amaze and move you at every turn. From award-winning journalists across the globe, Sports Explains the World reveals the human side of sports in provocative and unusual ways. Whether you’ve ever thrown a spiral or been in one, prepare to experience the action on and off the field from an unexpected – and sometimes shocking – vantage point.


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Our Editor's Take

The intersection between sports and storytelling is a fascinating and gradually evolving one. Sports Explains the World is a podcast that sets out to tell sports stories that have yet to be well-reported. In many instances, these are compelling narratives that should receive more attention.

Sports Explains the World is a production of Meadowlark Media. The company's cofounders are Dan Le Batard and John Skipper. Longtime sports fans will likely be familiar with both of these names. Le Batard is a popular sports columnist and commentator who has been active for years. He served as the host of a popular show for ESPN Radio. As a print journalist, Le Batard's work has appeared in the Miami Herald, where he was a writer from 1990 to 2016. He also cohosts the podcasts The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz and Le Batard & Friends Network. Skipper is a veteran media executive who has been a part of the industry for decades. He began his career at Rolling Stone before working for Spin and Us. Sports fans will likely know him from his tenure as the former president of ESPN. He and Le Batard's goal in founding Meadowlark Media was to create documentaries and sports content that rivals ESPN's.

Sports Explains the World focuses on telling unusual and underreported sports stories. As its title implies, these stories can be from anywhere worldwide. The episode series "The Real Jay Mullen" is an example. He was an undercover CIA agent who ended up coaching a basketball team in Uganda to spy on the Soviets. Another episode discusses former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. Known for pitching the "bloody sock" game in 2004, he pursued a career in video games. The company he founded came to a bloody end of its own. This podcast tells the story.

Sports Explains the World aims to bring 30 for 30-style storytelling to the podcast realm. This is an ambitious goal, but the podcast largely succeeds due to the quality of its research. New episodes drop each week.

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Episodes